- Research Projects
Division of Basic Science and Translational Research
This division covers basic biological research on social recognition and development of diagnostic tools and drugs for developmental disorders. Our mission is to apply genetic insights to both the basic understanding of neurodevelopment and clinical practice of psychiatry. We are currently focusing on the following projects:
- Molecular mechanisms for the release of brain oxytocin;
- Development of oxytocin analogues for the treatment of social impairment;
- Genetic profiling to develop biomarkers for developmental disorders;
- The influence of genetic variation on susceptibility and progression of neurodevelopmental disorders; and
- The role of inflammation and the immune system in developmental disorders. Using rodent models of ASDs, we are exploring the potential in vivo role of cytokines and hormones in both typical and abnormal brain development.
Division of Clinical Medicine and Social Implementation
This division’s primary interest is in the promotion of brain function research in children with autism spectrum disorder using a worldwide unique, child-friendly, and custommade magnetoencephalography (MEG) system
- State-of-art functional neuroimaging studies of sensory, motor, and cognitive functions of children using the child-sized MEG, and of parent-child interaction with the Hyperscanning MEG system;
- Visualization of children’s activities of daily living using wearable devices; and
- Clinical trial of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) to improve cognitive function of adults.
Division of Integrated Arts and Sciences and Local Community Support
Individuals with autism spectrum disorder tend to have their unique characteristics in the way of comprehending self and others, interactive communication and social imagination, leading to a lot of challenges to their social adaptation. We are establishing a comprehensive education and support program that fits in well with individual perspectives and developmental traits. Our research subjects and tasks are as follows:
- Assessment and intervention of communication using Conversational Analysis;
- Developing Japanese version of Children’s Communication Checklist-2;
- Developing computer tasks that measure reception of linguistic prosody;
- Developing education and support methods for children who stutter in age from infants to junior and senior high school students;
- Influences of multilingual environment on communication development in children with autism spectrum disorder; and
- Efficacy of the Japanese version of PEERS (Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills), an evidence-based social skills training programs developed in the United States for adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).